The two swords
Since the end of the Cold War, a global religious resurgence has transformed many aspects of world politics, including transnational activism, human rights, and terrorism. Yet, scholars still debate whether a generalizable influence of religion on interstate disputes exists. Despite significant progress in the study of religion and world politics, then, the fundamental question remains: under what conditions does the post-Cold War eraâ€™s religious resurgence influence interstate disputes? This article points to the significance of institutional religionâ€“state connections and ideological distance between disputants to account for the varied significance of religion in interstate conflicts. Religion influences conflict behavior when there are close ties between religion and the state and when a religious state is in a dispute with a secular state, creating ideological distance between the combatants. In such instances, the dispute is more likely to involve the use of force. The article tests this theory through a quantitative analysis of interstate disputes, using a Heckman probit model for the effects of religionâ€“state connections on dispute severity. The tests reveal that while religiousâ€“secular dyads do not experience greater risks of conflict compared to other dyads, conflicts involving religiousâ€“secular dyads are more severe than those including other dyads, even when numerous competing explanations are accounted for. The article contributes to the study of religion and politics by highlighting the political factors that increase religious effects on international relations; it also contributes to the broader study of interstate crises by demonstrating the means through which ideas can affect interstate disputes.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:49:y:2012:i:6:p:753-768. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publishing)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.